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Janie G. Locklear

Department of Civil Engineering
North Carolina A&T State University
No Longer Fond of the Local Pond : A Case and Laboratory for Elementary Water Analysis

When an elementary school teacher calls in sick to work, she finds out that she is not the only one who will be missing school that day.  Children from her fifth grade class have also become ill and parents are calling to report the absences. The concerned principal of the school finds out the fifth grade class had a field trip to one of the local parks the day before. The case shows the areas visited by the class and provides discussion between the principal and a physician that teaches the readers about water quality and EPA standards for bacteria levels in recreational water. The case has an optional lab component that provides the theory for three methods that can be used to conduct microbial water analyses.  Procedures are included for teachers to lead a lab activity to test water to identify which location in the park caused the illness. This case study and accompanying laboratory activity are recommended for an environmental engineering course or a lower level science course.